Friday, May 4, 2012

Nothing Plain About Red Rock

The First Annual Plein Air Convention (April 12-15)  in Las Vegas at The Red Rock Casino was historic.  RayMar was a sponsor and Emily and I filled a mini van with panels and carriers and drove over from Phoenix.  Billed as the largest gathering of plein air painters in history we were ready for the “Plein Air Show”.  It promised to be unique in the annals of conventions and it delivered… complete with a marching band, show girls and Elvis. After all it was Vegas.  It was three weeks ago and the buzz is still going.

 At the onset there was a feeling in the convention hall that something historic and hugely successful was happening.  Artists and sponsors along with the Plein Air staff sensed the bar had been raised and a new standard set for artists to learn and paint in a convention venue.

 The floor layout put artists and sponsors together and it felt more like a reunion than a convention.  We frequently heard, “Oh I’ve used your panels and carriers for years”. We squealed with delight meeting long time customers and new ones and thank everyone who stopped by to share their stories. Morgan Samuel Price showed me her seasoned carrier from 2002. It was still in service and I wanted it for our archives.  She inscribed the old one “To Cathy, great wet painting carrier!!!!” and I swapped it out for a new one.
Morgan's old carrier!
Emily, Morgan Samuel Price, Richard Lindenberg, and Cathy
Pat Welsh, Cathy, & Chris Adessa at the Plein Air Convention

Alexey Steele "traveling light" with RayMar carriers at Red Rock

The inspiring lectures and demos energized the artists and our sales resembled a feeding frenzy.  We even sold our samples to a New Zealand artist who said they had nothing like our product.  The creative energy was “over the top”. Tony Pro told us he sold everything he had…all his demos and DVDs.

Later as we packed up two banners and a logo table cloth the General Pencil Co. sponsor in the next booth asked, “ if that was all we had to pack”?  We answered “yes” and he smiled and said “Show off”.  We felt euphoric with solid confirmation that artists like our products.  We felt like an overnight success that took 14 years.

I imagine an artist has a similar feeling when their artwork sells.  The joy is overwhelming when someone is moved to purchase your work and we’re pleased that you like our “work”.  I don’t know how the Plein Air staff will top this event but we’ll find out when we see you at the 2nd Annual Plein Air Convention next year.

Cathy and Emily Dietrich